Monday, March 8, 2004

Attack prompts call for increased mental health funding

The Western Australian Opposition is calling for a review of mental health funding following the weekend attacks on two nurses at Perth's Swan Districts Hospital.

A 23-year-old man will appear in court today on grievous bodily harm and assault charges in connection with serious injuries suffered by a nurse and a male social worker.

The Opposition's health spokesman, Mike Board, says funding for mental health services should be increased to 10 per cent of the total health budget, from its current level of 6 per cent.

He says he has received many complaints about security and the safety of mental health workers. "This is a tragedy that's happened.

It should be a reminder to the Government, a wake up call that this area needs desperately to be resourced," Mr Board said. "We need to make sure that we don't cut the mental health budget anymore, that we restore some of the funding that should be there."

Health Minister Jim McGinty has declined to comment.

By Implementation 8 March 2004


Turning the Tide or Cuckoo's Nest?
In NSW we are currently at a watershed as to how forensic patients in particular and the mentally ill in general will be treated. If we don't strongly register our protest against their objectification now we will later be just railing against a fait accompli.

Ms CLOVER MOORE (Bligh) [4.43 p.m.]: Today I speak about the shocking situation for people with mental illness, and call for urgent government action. There have been calls for reform of mental health services as far back as the 1983 Richmond report, followed by the 1988 Barclay report and the 1993 Burdekin report.

Conditions in the HRMU
Justice Action is trying to obtain documents on behalf of prisoners held in the Goulburn High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) from the Federal Attorney General's Department, Corrective Services Minister's Conference regarding the process described below, in which the Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia were adopted. This documentation will help explain the justification for the conditions in the HRMU.

The psychiatric protection order for the "battered mental patient"
Psychiatric patients are routinely treated against their will. Legally enforceable psychiatric protection orders would protect patients from coercive psychiatric interventions...

Forensic Hospital at Long Bay
NSW should reject the government decision to set up a secure forensic hospital at Long Bay - or in any place where it can be influenced by the Department of Corrective Services (DCS) (or probably Corrections Health Service (CHS) for that matter).

Eli Lilly buys Schizophrenia Fellowship
I think anyone concerned about the capture of community/consumer groups by pharmaceutical companies will not feel reassured by the current website of the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW.

Adelaide's Glenside psychiatric hospital: Escape from hell?
A third person has escaped from the Adelaide's Glenside psychiatric hospital as health authorities prepare to begin a second review of security.

Child detainees 'living in a nightmare', report finds
A report being released today documents disturbing evidence about mental health for children in detention centres.

Letter from the mother of a prisoner on remand at the High Risk Management Unit Goulburn Correctional Centre I am writing to give you permission to make any inquiries on my behalf as I am invalid pensioner who doesn't drive and been only well enough to travel by train once in 15 months to see my son Scott Simpson. I have enclosed a copy of Scott's letter and also a copy of gaol papers form I have to fill out and wait to see if I'm allowed in to see him. He doesn't get any visits. He is in the Supermax and deprived of any privileges not even legal Aid will fund a solicitor to see him in Goulburn.

Judicial, mental health and police corruption
Ian Kay, who blew the whistle on judicial and police corruption here in Victoria has recently been improperly incarcerated in MAP Prison, Melbourne for doing nothing more than writing a letter of complaint to his local MP.

Intolerable Conditions of Prisoners at Goulburn's HRMU
We wish to with respect, level a serious complaint against the Chief Executive Officer, Corrections Health Services, Dr Richard Matthews.